Volunteers step in to clean up Fife beaches

Scottish Water beach clean,. East Wemyss
Scottish Water beach clean,. East Wemyss

Operation Beach Clean Up has swung into action with volunteers descending on our coastline to tidy up the mess left behind by others.

Two major events took place recently – and they swept up a huge amount of rubbish from the sand and rocks.

Beach clean organised by Kirkcaldy business Revolution Barbershop

Beach clean organised by Kirkcaldy business Revolution Barbershop

On Sunday two teams – one at Dysart and one at Kinghorn – took part in a clean-up organised by Kirkcaldy’s Revolution Barbershop.

Starting at noon the groups made their way back to Kirkcaldy Promenade having picked up five tyres, three shopping trollies, five lobster traps and 120 bags of litter.

Revolution owner Mark Reynolds said: “At Christmas, myself and my friend Jamie Steele collected clothing for the homeless – and we decided we wanted to do something else.

“I thought a beach clean-up was a no-brainer so we put it out on Facebook and it worked its own magic.”

Beach clean s organised by Kirkcaldy business Revolution Barbershop

Beach clean s organised by Kirkcaldy business Revolution Barbershop

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Mark was delighted at the turnout.

He said: “I was expecting 30-40 people, but we got 100 and would have maybe had more if it hadn’t been such a horrible day weather-wise.

“There are a lot of cool people who care about this community and I think we all have a passionate love affair with the sea as we stare out at it.”

Mark says he was also surprised at what was found on the beach at Dysart.

“I knew there were some tyres and shopping trolleys down there but, at Dysart, they collected a line of wet wipes the length of a football pitch.

“It took four trips to the dump for baby wipes alone.”

Mark also paid tribute to the way that businesses also got involved.

“I asked Koku Shi to donate some food to the party we had afterwards and Print It Stitch It made us some tee-shirts and it is also very active in the community.

“They say the High Street is dead but down this end, in the Merchants’ Quarter, we’re doing well.We all know each other, we’re a very tight group and this had made for a really great day.”

Along the coast, volunteers from Scottish Water took part in a clean-up at East and West Wemyss beaches.

They filled 10 bags with rubbish, including a large rubber tyre and traffic cones.

It was the fourth time a group of volunteers from the utility had carried out a clean-up at the sites after it “adopted” the beaches via the Marine Conservation Society (MCS).

Volunteers spent several hours cleaning the beaches, surveying the types of litter found and how much was collected.

Items included a big black rubber tyre, two traffic cones, pieces of coloured plastic piping shoes, Wellington boots and a lot of wet wipes, crisp packets, glass and plastic bottles and metal cans.

Lorraine Bruce, corporate events manager at Scottish Water, set up the event.

She said: “I adopted East and West Wemyss Beaches a few years ago as part of our ‘Adopt a Beach’ campaign.

“I wanted to help look after these particular beaches as there is a family connection to the local community – it’s where I spent many childhood holidays when I was able to access East Wemyss beach from my grandparents’ garden.

“It is so rewarding taking part in beach cleans like this as you know it is helping clean up the area and protect the environment and wildlife.

“It is fun coming along with colleagues – and when we saw how much litter we had picked we felt a sense of accomplishment.

“Locations such as these on the beautiful Fife Coastal Path and around all of our coastal waters need the support of like-minded campaigns to rid our beaches of the litter washed on to them or left on them.”

“The majority of the rubbish we find can be avoided if we all take a bit of time and effort not to put the wrong thing down our sinks and toilets.”